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My name is Megan Birke (@meggylosing), and I am 33 years old. I am from Louisville, Kentucky, and I am a registered nurse. I successfully lost over 100 pounds with polycystic ovary syndrome and hypothyroidism by

I always struggled with my weight, but I really started gaining during my first pregnancy 12 years ago. I gained a total of 60 pounds during that pregnancy. After I gave birth to our son,I lost a few pounds but gained them back over and over for the next six years. Then, I gained even more weight over the course of two more pregnancies.

During that time, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism, 1984 alfuzosin both of which can make weight loss difficult. I was put on medications for both conditions, but unfortunately I continued gaining weight.

I tried countless diets and would usually lose five to 10 pounds, but the scale would stop moving and I would give up.

This went on for years. There was a long period of time where I didn’t even step on a scale, but my highest recorded weight was when I was 29. My weight had hit 260 pounds. My PCOS symptoms were worsening. My back, feet, and legs were constantly hurting. I could no longer do simple tasks without being short of breath and sweating.

While my blood sugar, blood pressure and heart rate were still within a normal range, they were all trending upward. I felt extreme fatigue most of the time. As a nurse, I knew it was only a matter of time until my health would deteriorate, and I would develop hypertension and diabetes.

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I was 31 years old when I finally felt bad enough to change.

I told my husband, Chris, that I was going to try one more time to lose weight on my own, and if I didn’t lose eight pounds that month, I was going to have weight loss surgery. I had a consultation with a weight loss surgeon and was 100 percent convinced that was the route I was going to go.

I started this last ditch effort on March 25, 2019, and lost 20 pounds that first month. I never proceeded with the surgery.

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I did a lot of reading about what diet is best for women with PCOS. I didn’t just want to lose weight—I wanted to be healthy and actually feel good.

I read that women with PCOS would benefit from eating a diet that consisted of proteins like fish, eggs, chicken, and turkey, plus lots of vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, and complex carbs that help keep your blood sugar levels more stable. I tried my best to steer clear of processed foods, and I eliminated added sugar from my diet. (Although I do have it on special occasions.)

Initially, these dietary changes were hard. During the first couple weeks I had intense cravings and irritability. But in time, I adjusted, and now I don’t even think about my eating habits most of the time. It’s become a new way of living. And now that I know how good I can feel when I give my body the nutrition that it needs, I can no longer go back to eating junk day in and day out. It’s just not worth it.

Here’s what I eat in a day.

  • Breakfast: Two eggs, an apple chicken sausage, and mustard.
  • Lunch: Tuna bowl! Solid white albacore tuna, spinach, cucumber, olives, red onion, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and Italian seasoning.

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  • Snacks: Apple with nut butter, cottage cheese and avocado, non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt with clementines, blueberries, or sliced almonds.
  • Dinner: Salmon seasoned with chili powder, lime juice and garlic powder, cooked in olive oil spray, with a side of asparagus roasted in garlic powder, black pepper, and olive oil spray. I also have a side salad of spinach, strawberries, sliced almonds, and vinaigrette.
  • Dessert: Barbell cookies and cream protein bar or a midday peanut butter square.

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I also started exercising on day one.

As a mom of three young boys and with limited time, I knew I wanted an at-home workout that was effective but not time consuming, and that didn’t require equipment. I looked up YouTube workouts and came across Jeanette Jenkins’ free YouTube workouts. They were amazing. They are about 45 minutes long and consist of cardio, kickboxing and bodyweight movements.

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Initially, just like everything else about this journey, working out was incredibly hard. I was sweating and panting and having to pause the video a lot, but eventually my body adapted! I did her workouts almost every day for about six months, and it was very effective. I became stronger and saw my endurance greatly improve and my body change right before my eyes. Today I do mostly weight lifting (about five times a week) with a little cardio.

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These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.

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I’ve lost 110 pounds total. In the first six months, I lost 100 pounds.

I want other women to know that no matter if you have PCOS and/or hypothyroidism, you *can* lose weight. It is possible, even if health care professionals, social media, and the internet tell you otherwise. I had completely convinced myself that I would never feel good or be healthy again. I can, and I do.

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